September 3, 2019 11.04 am This story is over 27 months old

Karl McCartney: For richer or poorer, Brexit will make us freer

“We need to be optimistic,” writes the former Lincoln MP

Can we go to war on the chattering class of EU/Brexit ‘commentators’ who peddle doom and pestilence, and are obviously professional naysayers? There are some serious issues to be addressed as we approach the 31st October and maybe some who are elected to represent us should take a more statesman-like view of certain issues.

This week and for the past few weeks (and if we are honest for far too much of the last three years) we have heard wall to wall ‘Brexit mania’ in all media and mostly from the doom-mongers and naysayers (‘bad news sells’?) who continually talk down the capability of our country, the United Kingdom.

We need to be optimistic, to believe and be positive that the fifth largest economy in the world will survive, and thrive and prosper, as our own sovereign nation once we have left the EU.

The past few days especially has seen us reach ‘peak hysteria’ (or at least I hope it has peaked) of those who wish to ‘do down’ our fine nation and various business sectors with their doom laden predictions of woe and pestilence, that at times take on biblical proportions.

They are trying to fulfil their own false prophecy, heightening unfounded fears and escalating the nervousness, and playing on the insecurities of those who will never willingly embrace change.

Let us be clear, the vast majority, and probably nearly all of the businesses who export to the EU (and import from them) and around the world in many cases too, had prepared quite well for the initial leaving date of 29th March, and were fully prepared that it might happen with a ‘no-deal’ scenario.

What was most damaging was having led these businesses up the hill of the ‘leaving’ issue, Parliament, with some of its ‘we know best’ MPs from all sides, decided that actually a delay was what they wanted, as they desperately continued to search for ways to ignore the democratic will of the people of the UK and the result of the referendum of 2016.

So back down the hill these business all marched again.  The Continuity Remainers’ negative and ‘the end of the world is nigh’ doom-laden exhortations on any media that will embrace and trumpet their minority views, will, in the fullness of time, be exposed for what they are and were.

I am an optimist. I firmly believe in democracy and the rule of law in this proud country of ours that I have had the honour of serving in various ways over the years, and I offer a positive view of the future, realistic, yes, but definitely optimistic, and I beg to differ with all those naysayers who are so shouty and ranty.

I want however in this article to offer a specific view of a niche issue perhaps, but one that is deadly serious and of utmost importance, on the world stage. In the midst all the EU and Brexit ‘chatter’ I would like to highlight an alternative and geopolitical view.

For over two years now a number of my former City colleagues and I who worked together in the City and dealt extensively with the EU back in the late 1990s, and early part of this century, have been clear in our belief that following our vote to leave the EU needs (or wants) to put us – the UK – on our knees to ensure no other of the 27 countries in the EU tries to ‘leave’.

Some EU countries have strong ‘sovereignty’ believers who actively want to see the UK achieve a departure from the EU, as they believe that their own countries can then emulate the UK and free themselves from the tyranny of the EU’s stated ‘master plan’.

However, the EU, or parts of it, realise we in the UK are the only country in Europe, and ergo the EU, capable of ‘war’ fighting – and we have one of the busiest RAF bases in the Lincoln constituency at RAF Waddington, with numerous other bases in the county and nearby.

As night follows day there will certainly be another situation, possibly soon, where our armed forces are needed, perhaps multi-faceted, and maybe, initially, for ‘show’ but they will be needed, and be needed to be credible too.

Potentially they will also be needed, practically, to demonstrate their, or more correctly, our, realistic capability. Without the UK the EU has no hope of being able to field any military capability, of any worth, at all, and it never will have due to the political orientation and history of the vast majority of the other 27 member states.

Putin knows this, and so do the Chinese. British forces have time and again come to the rescue of Europe, from the period of the Catholic Succession when we in the UK defended the Protestant Low Countries from domination by the stronger and larger Catholic powers, through to Napoleon’s attempt to dominate Europe from the Iberian Peninsula through to Moscow, as well as the more widely recognised both World War I and World War II, and then throughout the Cold War towards the end of the 20th Century.

If they, the EU, and their failed German ex-Defence Minister as the new EU President, put the UK on its knees, we shall be less able to help Europe in the future; if they try and fail to put us on our knees, people, especially in the UK, will be less inclined to help Europe, when it needs help; and in behaving like this the EU shows it is just a power whose only concern is its own survival.

And if it behaves in this way to an erst-while proud and sovereign nation, the blood of whose citizens have been spilt over centuries to protect and create a better Europe – what rights and protections can present day ordinary people rely on for their freedoms and liberties looking forward?

We in the UK, may well be relatively or marginally poorer, perhaps*, for a while after leaving the EU, but we will be freer.

* …but it is by no means certain. For example in the longer term, today, DB in Germany have stated that the UK will be in a very positive and ‘richer’ position after leaving the EU.”

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Karl McCartney was the Conservative Lincoln MP between 2010 and 2017. He is now the Conservative candidate for the city for the next general elections.